Takeaways are coming home as England fans prepare for Euro 2020 quarter-final

Football fans are expected to order well over a million takeaways on Saturday night as England’s Euro 2020 quarter-final match with Ukraine provides an excuse for a big evening in or out.

With more than 20 million people expected to watch the match, JustEat, the food delivery marketplace, said it expected to log more than a million orders, peaking at more than 2,500 a minute just before the 8pm kick-off on Saturday.

The Covid lockdowns, which forced restaurants to close to diners for long periods, have forced Britons to turn to delivery services in huge numbers for traditional takeaway cuisine as well as fast food and alcohol. The takeaway delivery company Deliveroo said orders rose by nearly a quarter during England’s victory over Germany on Tuesday, with spending on beer and wine up 27%.

Research commissioned by the website VoucherCodes.co.uk predicts a £500m blowout as people stock up on drinks and barbecue fare at the supermarket or get a round in. Tesco, for example, expects to sell double the amount of burgers, sausages and kebabs this weekend compared with the previous two.

The research, carried out by the Centre for Retail Research, said about £150m of that figure would be spent in pubs. However, the British Beer & Pub Association has complained that restrictions such as the rule of six are holding back sales with 19m pints expected to be sold on Saturday, a figure that would be nearer 24m without Covid restrictions.

Waitrose said sales of international beer brands such as Grolsch, Tiger and Leffe were running up 40% this week, with shoppers buying bigger packs as well as crisps and dips to share. Searches for pizza recipes were up by a quarter on its website as fans sought to recreate the experience of being in Rome.

The buzz around the tournament as well as the return of Wimbledon and the prospect of the Tokyo Olympics has been an excuse to upgrade to a better television set for those Britons who did not get round to buying a new screen during lockdown.

John Lewis said since Tuesday sales of 70-inch TVs had increased nearly 40%, while the online retailer AO.com said demand for QLED sets, (which use so called quantum dot technology for more vibrant colours) jumped 160% in June.

With sales of wine coolers also more than doubling, John Roberts, the AO chief executive, suggested the tournament had made people feel “more optimistic”. “It feels like football has helped put a bit of excitement into the room after a tough year.”